American Pie: Naked Run

There are very few people we can think of who would look better running a race naked than fully clothed. Let's face it: running, cycling, tennis-playing and pretty much everything else which involves jumping or jiggling about are very ill-advised pursuits to carry out in the buff.

This information however isn't enough to deter American Pie's Nadia from dragging the hapless Jim to take part in university races conducted solely in the nude (or semi-nude, at least). Her reason? Getting him used to being around naked women so they can visit some nudist beaches on their holidays to Europe. Now that's a girlfriend, eh boys? Anyway, so begins American Pie: Naked Run, which has you visiting universities across America to run from a start to a finishing line without getting busted by the police.

The game starts with a choice of characters with Nadia, Finch and Jim all playable, then Jim's dad talking you humorously through a tutorial, explaining how lobbing bins on people's heads will slow them down and collecting stars will earn you points. Then it's onto your first race.

American Pie: Naked Run's races are very straightforward. Your chosen character ploughs forward (in their undies) and you simply guide them up and down on the screen and press '5' to jump over obstacles.

They're also short and fast-paced, lasting only about 30 seconds. In that time, though, you're expected to collect enough stars to earn the requisite points to move onto the next level, jump fences and flower beds, collect speed-boosting power-ups, and beat Stifler to first place.

Stumble over one too many obstacles (you're allowed three errors) and a police officer chases you down and arrests you. Fail to collect enough of the stars scattered along each course – gold stars earn you more points than the silver ones – and you won't earn enough points to unlock the next race. If either happens, you restart that race again.

Adding a bit of variation and humour to proceedings are the objects you can run into to chuck them at rival runners, such as bins, which stick on their heads, or books which knock them down. And also the different speed power-ups, like the American footballer who grabs then carries you along part of the course, stomping through obstacles, and the skateboard which you can ride past all your opponents.

Naked Run has many strengths, but the most instantly noticeable is its presentation. The menus are polished and the in-game visuals are strong too. Isometrically viewed, the cartoon graphics are colourful and richly detailed, and little touches such as rain and snow distinguish one state from another.

These visuals do have one drawback, though, which is they're probably to blame for the slightly-too-long loading times between each race. In the later races, when you need to keep going back to the start after numerous times failing to get the required number of points, it's a pain waiting for the same race to keep reloading.

This is American Pie: Naked Run's only real failing though, because that aside it's a very likeable game. As most, I was a bit concerned a mobile game based (presumably) on the straight-to-DVD film American Pie Presents The Naked Mile would be tragically bad.

But it's actually a very solid affair with plenty to recommend it – not least the wealth of extra trophies and achievements you earn by perfecting levels and collecting all the stars. There's also a great two-player 'Hot Seat' mode where you take turns at a race and try to outdo each other's time.

American Pie might be a bit old now, and naked running is about as good an idea as giving a paedophile planning permission to build his own children's amusement park, but Digital Chocolate manages to turn the two into a worthy and enjoyable game.

American Pie: Naked Run

Polished, good looking cartoon racing game where you control Nadia, Finch or Jim in fun naked races across America
Kath Brice
Kath Brice
Kath gave up a job working with animals five years ago to join the world of video game journalism, which now sees her running our DS section. With so many male work colleagues, many have asked if she notices any difference.